"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Questions

These are questions inspired from things I heard or read today.  I'd love to read your thoughts on any or all of them.

1.  Do you believe in life after death? If so, what happens?  If not, what happens? 

2. Do we focus too much on life after death so that we don't concentrate enough on doing good here and now?

3. Since 1 out of 1 people die, is death the ultimate victor?

4.  Does life have meaning? If so, what is it?  Do we make our own meaning in life?

5. What does "intimacy with God" mean to you?  How does it make you feel?  Is it too...well, intimate? 

16 comments:

Wafa' said...

OK, let's start :D
1. Do you believe in life after death? If so, what happens? If not, what happens?
yes i do. in a way it seems so fair to have a life after death with rewards for good deeds and punishments for bad ones.But i don't know what happens exactly, yes in Islam we have like a chart for things that will happen there and what is life going to be but i guess some of it aren't real.

2. Do we focus too much on life after death so that we don't concentrate enough on doing good here and now?
it's one of the things that moves us in life, especially in Islam.Sometimes it's too much, sometimes it's OK. But i guess it serves its purpose to keep it in mind but not to dwell on it for good.

3. Since 1 out of 1 people die, is death the ultimate victor?
it's a fact. whether it's a victor or not, i don't know. But a beautiful and natural fact.

4. Does life have meaning? If so, what is it? Do we make our own meaning in life?
You answer the first part in the second part. Basically we are told as Muslims that we are born to worship Allah, but is that our only job? and then they say it's for building Earth or life in general and i like this one much better.
How you want to live your life and what purpose you want to serve is up to you but it's better when it's about you and everyone else not only you :)

5. What does "intimacy with God" mean to you? How does it make you feel? Is it too...well, intimate?
intimacy with God reminds me of how spirituality works.You have this close relationship and doesn't have to be strictly about what to do and what's not. I guess we tend to be happier if we can be this close to God and it's hard to achieve it but i don't think you can get it by being strictly religious.

and thanks for the thought-provoking questions :)

Amber said...

1. Yes. I believe that we go directly into the presence of God. If you're a good person, 'saved' or whatever you want to call it, this is heaven. If you're not, then it's hell.

2. Some people do. They babble on and on about the rewards and blessings that people will receive for their suffering after death and never lift a finger to help these people with their suffering here on earth. Suffering teaches, sure, and it can sometimes be for the benefit of the person suffering, but it is our responsibility to help our fellow humans and to ease or remove suffering whenever possible. This is also a teaching moment and something that benefits both the person receiving the help and the one doing the helping. But not everyone is like that. There are plenty of people who try to ease the suffering of everyone that they can.

3. Depends on your perspective I guess. Is death the end? Or just something that must be passed through?

4. Yes. 42. :D But seriously. I think life does have meaning, but I don't know what the ultimate meaning is. I don't think we get to know that sort of thing until after it's all played out. After all, if you got the prize before the race was run it'd be kind of boring.

5. Being close to God. So, prayer, Communion, sometimes just looking up and seeing a beautiful night sky. :D It feels...weird, but wonderful. Both inside myself but outside and...expanded. Touching so many things and feeling them all at once. It doesn't happen often, but that's what I feel like when I feel closest to God. I don't know if it's too intimate. It's too...big. Like I can't sustain it for too long because I'll lose myself in it.

sanil said...

1. I don't know. Right now, I tend to think that we make an impact on the world in a real, permanent way, and that we stick around in the memories of people we affected and the world as a whole. But as an actual conscious "life", I think it either doesn't go on or that Hinduism/Buddhism is close with the concept of souls being reunited into the source.

2. Well, I don't. :D As far as people who really believe in it and have that as an important doctrine, I think it varies. Some do. For some, the idea of life after death might help them to do good on earth, for others it makes them do evil on earth. But I think it makes some undervalue life, even if they do good things, not taking joy in it and simply wanting to do good to get to Heaven.

3. Only if your goal is immortality. For people who don't aim for that and make life count, I don't think so.

4. We make our own meaning in life. I don't think there is inherent meaning to it, but you can make your life man something and make it a positive thing.

Suroor said...

1. How do I know?! I can't believe what I don't know and haven't experienced and once I have experienced death I can't come back to say what I believe :)

2. Yes, especially when we are taught that certain actions will bring us later rewards and because we can't experience those rewards now, we don't know if our actions are wrong.

3. Victor? In what way?

4. Life has a meaning - we can live with kindness or we can live with madness. Madness knows no meaning. Kindness is the meaning.

5. I don't know about intimacy these days.

Sarah said...

1. No. I think the mind is produced by the brain and when the brain shuts down there is no more mind, so no way of experiencing anything more.

2. Maybe some believers focus on the afterlife too much. Maybe others need that to motivate them to do good, I don't know.

3. That makes "death" sound like a person, like the grim reaper or something :D I see death as just something natural that happens and I am quite happy to know that I won't live forever... that any hardship or suffering is temporary.

4. I don't think life has an absolute meaning. I think there are lots of things that can make life feel meaningful, such as love, kindness, curiosity, courage...

5. I used to wish for intimacy with God but at the same time couldn't really take it seriously. God is the ultimate introvert. :D

Lat said...

1.Under construction :)

2.Maybe

3.No,Life is.

4.Yes.Without life,there's no meaning unless death is the complete extinction of body and soul.

5.I'm so overwhelmed and sometimes feel lost,not the lost in the jungle kind of lost,but lost to say the words I want to express.Is intimacy the word,I don't know.

observant observer said...

1. Yess for sure, isn't that what Christianity teaches, that your soul meant to last forever. Cogito ergo sum, I even think that life doesn't exist without me. So to have the life to be as meaningful that the sun rises, the moon lits at night for million of years, those need a witness, an eternal witness, that is in me, since I'm the world, I'm the life itself. Even King Solomon said himself that God had put eternity in our heart. I'm asking myself do I want it, the answer is yes...why? because I want to exist to finally meet the "Creator" who is invisible to still be able to connect to Him and finally able to say to Him: wowwwwww, I finally get to know you in person....hahahaaaa
2. I enjoy my life a lot and I hope in "abundance" as the Lord had permitted and allowed so, does it mean that I concentrate too much on not doing good? All that I wish and work on is that people would be able to enjoy life, dance and have party on the beach, while adoring the nature (literally and metaphorically speaking)
3. Death is the ultimate victor when we think of it as the ultimate end to finally escape from our responsibility here on earth.
4.Life has meaning in knowing the existence of the "awareness",while the whole universe of materials like the stars, the galaxies that last millions of years doesn't mean anything since they don't have the "awareness" of existence. Human is the most important creature, we are the agent of "intellect".
5. Intimacy means to be able to connect with the humanity of God....hahahaaaa, I mean I can see the image of God in us too, so to be able to be intimate with Him, is in recognizing how close we are with God actually.
I know all my answers show the ego of mind, but I dare to say that ego is the ultimate truth that leads to the question of eternity. Though, this can be seen as the answers of a religious zealot ....who actually knows nothing outside her heart.

Susanne said...

Wafa', I enjoyed your answers and read through them twice. I was intrigued by this:

"I guess we tend to be happier if we can be this close to God and it's hard to achieve it but i don't think you can get it by being strictly religious.:

especially the thought that it's not attained by "being strictly religious." I would be curious how it could be achieved otherwise.

I like what you said about life's purpose being about you and OTHERS and not strictly yourself.

Thanks much for sharing these things!

Susanne said...

Amber, I always find your view of being in God's presence as both heaven and hell intriguing and it makes sense. I'd just never thought of it that way before knowing you.

I love your description of intimacy with God. Thanks for your thorough replies. I enjoyed them!

Susanne said...

Sanil, thank you! Your views are quite interesting! I really enjoyed them as they help me understand you better. :)

"But I think it makes some undervalue life, even if they do good things, not taking joy in it and simply wanting to do good to get to Heaven."

That was a really interesting thought.

Thanks much for sharing your thoughts!

Susanne said...

Suroor, thanks. Your replies are appreciated.

Victor as in death triumphs over all in the end.

Yeah,I gathered that none of us have died and come to back to tell about it. It was just a question on what you believe. Thanks for sharing your point of view.

Susanne said...

Sarah, I am glad to see your reply! What a nice surprise! :) I've missed you though I know my topics are probably not that interesting to you. So I appreciate you taking time to share your views here.

"God is the ultimate introvert."

I saw this the other day and then read in The Orthodox Church about God being hidden and thought of your comment here. :)

I enjoyed reading your thoughts on these questions. Does it not bother you that when a loved one dies perhaps prematurely that you won't see them again? That to me is the saddest part about "after death there is no more." But maybe I am just a foolish woman enjoying her myths ... that opium of the masses kind of thing. :)

Thanks again!

Susanne said...

Lat, I'd love to know your "under construction" views when they are constructed. :) Oh, nice to read you believe life to be the ultimate victor!

Thanks for sharing!

Susanne said...

Observant, good to see you!

" I want to exist to finally meet the "Creator" who is invisible to still be able to connect to Him and finally able to say to Him: wowwwwww, I finally get to know you in person."

That's so cute! :)

"Death is the ultimate victor when we think of it as the ultimate end to finally escape from our responsibility here on earth. "

Now THAT is an interesting perspective! I need to ponder it a bit to see if I can grasp your meaning.

I really enjoyed your thoughts on intimacy with God. Thanks for being so candid in sharing your thoughts. I enjoyed them.



Everyone, thank you! This was so wonderful for me to understand your thoughts on these rather deep questions. I appreciate your willingness to share!

Daniel said...

1. Yes! A person either goes to heaven or to hell.

2. No. What we do here relates to us in the afterlife to a degree. If we are focused on what happens after we die, then we should be focused on what we do here.

3. Depends on how you relate to #1.

4. Of course it has meaning. There are many meanings to our life here on earth all of which follow fellowship with God. Some people like to think we make our own meaning to life, but since it was given to us by God, He made the meaning before we were ever born.

5. It means living as much as we can in the manner God directed us. When I am successful it makes me feel wonderful. It can never be too intimate. We could never become that close to God.

Susanne said...

Thanks for your replies, Daniel!